30 April 2018

FINAL BLOODBATH


Essential Japanese DBeat crust, FINAL BLOODBATH dropped a handful of tracks in the early '00s spread out over two demos and two EPs. That's it...but when it's this good maybe they looked at their body of work and simply thought "well, fukk it - we did the damn thing so that's it." Uchida caliber distortion on tracks like "We Have Freedom" and a snarl that is Japanese hardcore personified, both serve to lift what are essentially fifteen year old by-the-numbers Dis-tracks to a justifiably legendary status. It's fukkn perfectly raw and indescribably powerful, and Black Konflik were nice enough to make all of the tracks available for convenient consumption. 



29 April 2018

FRONTE VIOLETA


São Paulo's FRONTE VIOLETA match perfectly with Tokyo's Chihiro Yoshikawa on this collaboration. A foreboding collage of analog images and movement presented with carefully calculated sonic monotony...the piece only altering form when an ascension to other realms begins around the 4:30 mark. Pain Chrisantemo is every bit as compelling with or without audio or video, but the full experience is recommended so that after you have submitted to loss, the comfort of The Eye can help to see you through to the next phase....

28 April 2018

SBDC


Sometimes a band hits you just right and from the first note you are hooked. That's how it was with the 2015 demo from Vancouver's SBDC, and their subsequent releases struck me just as hard. Raucous Girls In The Garage styled and adrenaline fueled punk with piercing clean guitars and at least three different voices sharing duties. Sometimes they elicit a smile, and sometimes they are just killing it and you picture yourself surrounded by sweat and darkness and a bunch of other mutants kinda losing their shit and no break between songs except when the band shouts out a description that makes your old ass feel a little uncomfortable...like you just crashed a slumber party. 





27 April 2018

YOU WON'T SURVIVE!


I'm a big fan of mysteries. Mysteries keep us curious, they keep us hungry....they keep us searching for answers. Mysterious sounds are especially appealing to me - 
- who made this? 
 - how did I get this? 
- where/when was it made? 
 - would these have been my friends....or WERE THEY my friends?
This tape is simply labeled YOU WON'T SURVIVE! with a note that the tracks were recorded between 1992-1996. I think it's from the Bay Area (and specifically San Francisco), if only because the vocalist sometimes sounds like Matty Luv (especially on "Shoot Your Dog and Eat Your Kids," the TIFFANY cover and "One Car Garage Built For Two") and the irreverent sense of humor reminds me of Sunday afternoons at The Nightbreak in 1995 - when we all thought we were funny but it was probably just pretty stupid. Sometimes it sounds like there's a 4-track and one mutant, sometimes it sounds like there's an entire band responsible. Sometimes it's completely dismissible, sometimes I wish I had ten more collections like this one. To put things in a sonic context, imagine a combination of THE SPITS, HICKEY, dorky '90s punk (before the term "melodic punk" was justifiably equated with utter garbage) and SOCKEYE. Essential.....? Probably not, but that's not the point. 


26 April 2018

R.G.M.S.


An exercise in patience and/or concentration as much as a sonic offering, 2016's Gate Music presents a 45 minute improvisational foray into manipulated electronics. Surges and blips and beeps and rolling analog distortion punctuated by primitive industrial ambiance. It's fukkn hard but, once you settle in and the aural endorphins start to take over, it is a beautiful experience from the mind and hands of Khristopher Reinshagen (LIABLE, BODY COLLECTOR, Nostilevo, so much more).



25 April 2018

SILENT PORN


Michigan dark punk delivered the way goth/wave/punk hybrids are supposed to be delivered: awkward, creepy, confused...kinda makes you feel dirty inside. Perfect. The vocals stand as the only confident aspect of SILENT PORN, a SPECTRES-esque crooning brood afront a band of miscreants desperately bashing out an existence. And then, as quickly as you can crank out a ten minute demo tape on the shores of one of North America's most spectacular lakes....they disappeared from view. Also perfect. 


24 April 2018

KELELAWAR MALAM


This outfit is so all over the map that it's impossible to hone in on one vibe or one genre. And epic funeral metal dirge to open, followed by melodic horror punk, weird blues influences and classic '80s SoCal all collide in Indonesia to create Nokturnal - a collection of EP tracks, a split with GHAUST and a handful of live recordings from the early '10s. The simple fact that KELELAWAR MALAM land so far outside any recognizable realm only reinforces the fact that DIY music outside of the so-called First World is infinitely more interesting than whatever the current cool thing is. I'm not saying your favorite record label releases shit records....I'm just saying that 5 minutes into "Jalan Gelap" my mind starts to melt and I wish I was in Indonesia. 



23 April 2018

KOLUMNA BURRUTI


This is one of the most primal DBeat projects I've ever come across - pure and unrestrained filth from start to finish. Lima, Peru's KOLUMNA BURRUTI is (was?) a solo project, and I dare say that I hope the band starts and ends with this tape if only to keep from tainting a near perfect discography. Ten tracks of raw and full bodied DBeat hardcore punk in just over nine minutes, the entire focus is on simplicity and power; the darkness and distortion seem to just come naturally....Tapes Nöt Dead is a real one, punks.  


22 April 2018

WITEWASH


So I guess I missed this one when it came out, but it's impossible to catch everything, you know? Disgustingly misanthropic Austin hardcore drenched in noisy guitars and dried off with a morose blanket - perfect for half drunk sunny afternoon solitary listening while the normal people are outside celebrating blooming cherry blossoms and the onset of spring.


21 April 2018

MIND TRAP


I like it, man. Sometimes I just like destructive, knuckle dragging hardcore punk, and that's what MIND TRAP deliver with no apologies and no compromise....destructive, knuckle dragging hardcore punk. It's not pretty, but it's not meant to be. 


20 April 2018

PAUL KEATING'S SUIT


From the sound of things, Paul Keating's Suit ran on some radio station in Australia in the mid/late '90s. I can't swear to it....but that's what this one feels like. Two hours of generationally stamped music that hit the airwaves some Friday night - a Friday night that ended a lifetime ago. A Friday night that feels like home, even if it happened on the other side of the world. 




19 April 2018

ÂGE NOIR


It is truly difficult to do something different and still make yourself/ves sound compelling. Which is to say that there are a lot of jaw dropping DBeat bands - and there will be many more. There are scores of amazing goth bands that conjure SIOUXSIE and Eldrich and even Fraser's gang of multi instrumentalists. There are millions or records on shelves and mountains of records in City Sanitation Yards made by bands who have perfected the Crust Craft...and I haven't eve started talking about music that exists outside of the "underground," music that is aped and regurgitated ad nauseam, repackaged and remarketed and resold and re-loved by the Masses. But....what about artists that can still achieve the unachievable? Artists that can sound like themselves? Maybe this is a high bar to set for the bl(e)ak and angular sounds of ÂGE NOIR, but the black age is indeed upon us, and perhaps the soundtrack comes from France. The link below is highly recommended for fans of SHELLAC and VOLAHN and  MILEMARKER and ALUK TODOLO and THE VSS and TRTRKMMR and things that don't sound like anything else....it's the shit that keeps us all listening. Keeps us searching. This release is special, visitors....take it in. 


18 April 2018

NAKED TRUTH


272 seconds of ramshackle adolescent punk and pubescent inside jokes collected in the form of one "demonstration" cassette called Spending Nude Night. Tracks include "Naked Or Out," "Genitals Rule, OK?" "Pube Hawk," "Hot Tubs" and "Kick Your Butt" ...plus (an obviously essential) "Naked Or Out" redux at the end because that's a thing you need to bring it all back. Weird garage rock whammy bar on the guitar and spastic fast garage hardcore from start to finish, all delivered with a casual approach to aptitude and zero fukks given about anything other than hot tubs and friends and hardcore and nudity. You know...the things that matter. 


Fun factor aside, the tracks are really good and unpretentious hardcore stuffs constantly teetering on the edge of falling completely apart. That's a difficult balance to achieve, and one to be recognized and/or heralded...even if NAKED TRUTH was (probably) a joke band. Plus, the mosh call in "Hot Tubs" is probably the coolest thing on earth today. 

17 April 2018

ÂMES SANGLANTES // PSYCHOLOGISCHE ABWEHRFRONT


A 30 minute, one track assault on the senses from Quebec's ÂMES SANGLANTES, the kind of all encompassing noise that evolves into comfort as time passes and volume increases. PSYCHOLOGISCHE ABWEHRFRONT deliver damaged sample laden industrial in a somewhat similar vein - slightly (very slightly) more restrained, way colder and waaaaay more oppressive. This late '90s release is not for the faint, but crank "The Law Of Fun" and hear harsh noise morph into subtle beats and then, before you know what happened or where you are, full throttle HiNRG Techno mixed with power electronics is filling your earholes and you won't even remember what "faint" feels like. 


16 April 2018

FRANKY


It seems like forever ago when this subgenre seemed like it was going to take over Punk World, and then suddenly everyone was into goth and I found myself wondering what happened to idiot punk...and wondering why I missed it so much. Portland's FRANKY help settle at least the second quandry: Because it rules. Brilliantly simple pogo punk drenched in white noise guitars - it's quite a simple formula, really, and one must be careful to not overdo things, which is where FRANKY excel. So "Drink Up, Here's The Piss" and get weird and get loud. 



15 April 2018

SADKO RUSSIAN ENSEMBLE


A cursory glance will likely send visitors to the download link or to some salacious clickbait before I'm done typing this sentence....you are either curious or completely uninterested. I was curious, and I enjoyed. Pushing 90 minutes from start to finish, perhaps this bootleg of a bootleg of schmaltzy operatic show tune folk is best digested in waves, but I am well chuffed when I spy shit like this in random small town markets (though SADKO came to me in the mail). So yeah....enjoy the background music, low volume backroom status recommended, and see how much the tunes get stuck in your head. 


14 April 2018

PEPPERMINT SUBWAY


Another relic from the depths of North America's Lost Era, Ohio's PEPPERMINT SUBWAY left but one cassette in their wake. Meat and potatoes punk rock 'n roll with casual ears towards hard charging Motor City proto-punk andearly -indie/alternative, from a time when the freaks backed DRAMARAMA and SCREAMING TREES as much as they liked DEVO, CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN and VASELINES. Remember that Ohio, just a few years before this demo, had given us ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS and PAGAS, and would, just a few years after this demo, would bring NEW BOMB TURKS and GAUNT to the masses, and I think these nine songs are a pretty appropriate bridge. The one/two punch of "Destination" and "World Doesn't Care" in sequence is a thing that deserves more recognition from modern listeners than this little blog can offer, but I do what I can. 

The (mis)spelling of the title is a nice tough as well....




13 April 2018

WE CAN'T HELP IT IF WE'RE FROM CANADA


When the dude handed me a copy of this DIY compilation, essentially a deluxe, 90-minute Bloodstains Across Canada, I asked if my favorite power pop track of all time was on it. I hesitated, knowing that WHITE HEAT's "Nervous Breakdown" was probably my actual favorite, but nonetheless I wanted to gauge his response......"Oh yeah," he replied, "of course THE BUREAUCRATS are on here. And so I was sold before I pressed play on this bad boy, and still it exceeded expectations. With SUBHUMANS and the aforementioned classic "Feel The Pain" as the highest profile inclusions, We Can't Help It If We're From Canada helps make the argument in favor of The Great White North - an argument that's already hopelessly easy to make. DIRECT ACTION, FIFTH COLUMN, POINTED STICKS, CARDBOARD BRAINS, UNRULED, MODERNETTES, PRIVATE SCHOOL, DA SLYME, UJ3RK5, BRAINEATERS, and twenty eight more.....this tape delivers a supremely listenable collection of bangers also manages to pique my interest on a score of bands that I had previously either never heard or never heard of. Get amongst this one, and Let The Want List Increase. 



12 April 2018

ROLEX


Just before I went to Everything Is Not OK last month, I was gifted the first ROLEX demo and was fukkn blown away - I loved the shit out of that tape (still do), and I wondered "Who is this band?!" They sounded DEVO circa 1977 blasting URANIUM CLUB demos while smoking meth and pretending they were CITIZEN FISH on crack (and on 78 rpm) but with LA '83 vocals. It was next level shit, and I was pumped when I saw their name on the EINOK4 show listing...but I still had no idea what I was in for. Real talk: ROLEX is the best band on Planet Earth (or at least they were for 20 minutes on a Sunday in early March). Manic and fierce (and quirky) and wholly unpretentious hardcore punk that shirks all norms in favor of just going hard...and killing it. Included in this link are the ROLEX demo from last summer and the "O" cassette that appears to be a part of a (brilliant) plan to release a tape for each letter of their band name. I don't know what to say about that except that it is a genius idea and has so far been executed perfectly. These songs are stunning, the song construction and presentation is absolutely insane, and ROLEX is (still) the best band on Planet Earth (or at least they are in my house at the time I typed these words)



11 April 2018

MORTAL BODIES


Well before the opening track "Anonymous" comes to an end, even the most casual listener will be inclined to cease all unrelated activity and give full attention to Embodiment....it's that kind of music. Sparse, witchy electronics with sporadic/hypnotic vocals, MORTAL BODIES live up to their moniker and then some with eight pieces of dark bliss. I'm not sure if this is proto or post or pseudo industrial, but the effect is one of full immersion - like being enveloped and consumed by the sound. Casual experiences not offered b/w Highest recommendation.

Discerning eyes will recognize that this release is available from Chondritic Sound


10 April 2018

BUNCHA LOSERS


Another installment in my likely futile quest to reinvent the lost decade of North American DIY punk. For the sake of most arguments in favor of the '90s sucking, the period in question actually spans something like 1988-1998, since by the end of the actual decade I think most people would agree that underground punk had stepped up its collective game in a very real (and very deadly) way. But despite questionable recording quality and an occasional lack of sonic direction (which is still, in my book, often a net positive), the '90s in Canada and the USA were fukkn teeming bands playing their asses off and touring like motherfukkrs - living was cheap and life was sometimes cheaper, and we just went for it. Nuclear war was no longer the boogeyman that dominated the '80s, and Reagan was gone as a whipping boy (GHW was a suitable replacement, of course), which freed bands up to explore subject matter beyond the obvious, often looking inwards in the process with admittedly questionable results. Scores of recordings that have spent years being looked over and dismissed for whatever reason (be it relevant, valid, or superficial) keep resurfacing...enter BUNCHA LOSERS. There's a DEAD MILKMEN vibe lurking, and contemporary East Bay punk surely played a role in this suburban band's development, but drop this tape into a different decade, take the toilet seat off the cover and tell a stranger that it's important, and all of a sudden off kilter (and off time) tracks like "Couldn't Think" become invaluable pieces of history. Context and perception can be as important as content, my friends....